Accession Number:

ADA490518

Title:

Gulf War Illness and the Health of Gulf War Veterans

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS WASHINGTON DC RESEARCH ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON GULF WAR VETERANS

Report Date:

2008-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

465.0

Abstract:

Gulf War illness, the multisymptom condition resulting from service in the 1990-1991 Gulf War, is the most prominent health issue affecting Gulf War veterans, but not the only one. The Congressionally- mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses has reviewed the extensive evidence now available, including important findings from scientific research and government investigations not considered by earlier panels, to determine what is known about the health consequences of military service in the Gulf War. This evidence identifies the foremost causes of Gulf War illness, describes biological characteristics of this condition, and provides direction for future research urgently needed to improve the health of Gulf War veterans. Gulf War illness is a serious condition that affects at least one fourth of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War This complex of multiple concurrent symptoms typically includes persistent memory and concentration problems, chronic headaches, widespread pain, gastrointestinal problems, and other chronic abnormalities not explained by well-established diagnoses. No effective treatments have been identified for Gulf War illness and studies indicate that few veterans have recovered over time. Gulf War illness fundamentally differs from trauma and stress-related syndromes described after other wars Studies consistently indicate that Gulf War illness is not the result of combat or other stressors and that Gulf War veterans have lower rates of posttraumatic stress disorder than veterans of other wars. No similar widespread, unexplained symptomatic illness has been identified in veterans who have served in war zones since the Gulf War, including current Middle East deployments.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology
  • Weapons Effects (Biological)

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE